In my growing up years, Lord Krishna was the coolest one. There were tales that we heard about his mischief, we acted him out in plays and read Amar Chitra Kathas about him. For me, I have grown up with him being my confidant, my buddy, my best friend. The first time I heard his story was at Nani’s house in Kanpur where all my maternal Uncles live with their families. All cousins sat around Nani as she narrated stories about the Lord.
The tale where the ruler of Mathura, Kansa after hearing the prediction that the eighth baby born to his sister Devaki and Vasudeva would kill him, vows to kill every child of the couple. Seeing their first seven children killed, Devaki and Vasudeva fear the same destiny will fall on their eight born. It is Lord Vishnu who magically frees Vasudeva from the prison once the baby is born. Vasudeva exchanges Lord Krishna with a newborn girl of Yashoda and Nanda. He then returns to prison while Krishna is raised as a cowherd in Gokul. The prediction does come true and on his return to Mathura, he slays Kansa and restores his father to power. “Jakho rakhe saiya mar sake na koi” Nani ended the story. It was on that day I learned two things -The might of Lord Krishna and that one who has God on his side, need not fear as He will protect him. He became the one I turned to and confided into.
Across the street where Nani’s house is, there is a temple where every morning bhajans and songs would start playing on the loudspeakers. The favorite of the Panditji I guess was “Yashomati Maiyya Se Bole Nand Lala, Radha kyu gori main kyu kala” from the movie Satyam, Shivam Sundaram. He would play it on the loop and I can bet that even today after so many years all the residents of the street can sing the song in their sleep. Lord Krishna has always been called The Dark One. The Sanskrit word, “Krishna” means dark. The legend tells us that Lord Krishna drank the poisoned milk given by the demon that gave his skin a bluish dark tinge. Blue is also the color of aura. For Lord Krishna, it depicts his eternal spiritual body. Since he was born at midnight he is often shown as black in several images and idols too.
In our house, we have been celebrating Janamashtmi with gusto year after year. We all fast on this day. New clothes and a new mukut with morpankh ( peacock feather) are bought for the Lord who is placed in his cradle and everyone takes a turn to rock him. He is our “Nandlala.” We go to watch the play performances or Natak in the temples. The actors in their caked up makeup, the garish shiny costumes, the loud music, laughter and the bellowing noises that reach the audience; it’s all so entertaining. The story is the same yet I am never bored. I feel connected to my roots. It’s a reminder of our virtues and his words of wisdom in the Bhagavad Gita.
The delicacies that are made especially on this day are exquisite. Rajgira Paratha, Sabudana Khichdi, Kuttu Singahri ki Puri, Rasewale Dahi aloo, Mango Rabdi, Makhane ki Kheer, Lauki ki Kheer are made. It’s more a feast than a fast. The aromas that emanate from the kitchen can make anyone salivate. If there’s one dessert that I love out of the array that is made, it is “Makhane Ki Kheer.” This amazing vrat-friendly sweet is not only delectable but also falls into the healthy category. Simple to make with the basic ingredients of milk, sugar, foxnuts and dry fruits; it is creamy and smooth. I have watched both Nani and Ma make it. From one generation to another, the recipe has stayed the same. I solemnly hope it doesn’t change. Just like Holi for me means only one type of “Gujiya”, the khoya one and not the dozen others that flooded the market this year like Chocolate Gujiya, Paan Gujia; for me, Janamashtmi reminds me of “Makhane ki kheer” made this way. The light sauteeing of the makhanas or foxnuts in ghee to make it crunchy, the thickening of the milk on heat as the sugar/condensed milk swirls and blends beautifully before the foxnuts bob up and down and soak in the creaminess. This is divine!
Today is Janamashtmi and Makhane ki kheer will once again be made at home. Even though I’m not in India for the first time on this day, I join in spirit and in remembrance of the Lord who is a supreme God in his own right. May Lord Krishna’s flute invite the melody of love into your life. Happy Janmashtami!
This post is a part of #MyFriendAlexa challenge. It’s an endeavor to bring interesting stories, places, food and places to the readers. I am taking my Alexa rank to the next level with blogchatter.
- 1 cup Makhanas (Foxnuts)
- 3 cups cold milk
- 1 tbsp Ghee
- 4 tbsp condensed milk
- 8-10 Slivered almonds,
- a few strands of saffron
- 2 green cardamoms
- Heat ghee in a pan on a low flame. Roast the makhanas till they become firm and crunchy.
- Heat milk in a thick bottomed pan. Keep stirring so it doesnt scorch at the bottom.
- In the meantime, reserve one third of the makhanas and coarsely ground the remaining with the kernels of the cardamoms.
- Once the milk comes to a boil, add the condensed milk. Keep stirring so it mixes well. Check the sweetness and adjust accordingly.
- Add the makhanas. Keep stirring on low to medium flame for nearly 30 mins.
- Add the blanced and slivered almonds and saffron to the milk. Keep on heat for a couple of more minutes. The kheer should be thick by now.
- Keep to chill. While serving garnish with a few slivers of almond.
I love Makhana Kheer for its easy to make. Loved this post specially for tid bits that you shared from your life related to Janmashtami.
Thank you so much Anagha! It’s a pleasure to hear from you.
Makhane Ki Kheer looks yummy. I will definitely try this very soon. Thanks for sharing 👍 Dipali.
I will be waiting for your feedback. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do.:)
This is interesting. The only way I’ve eaten Makhana is by roasting it and adding some salt. This is new, will try it some time. And wonderful photos. 👍🏼
Thank you so much, Atul! I’m humbled. Do try it and give me your feedback.
A scrumptious post indeed! The flavors of food and tradition are seeping from every word…
I love Gujiya too, the traditional variety (hate the modern crap they sell outside). Also makhane ki kheer is my favorite.
So this post actually won my heart (and my taste buds too :P)
I hope you had a great Janmashtami! 🙂
Happy Janmashtami. Thanks for sharing the recipe for Makhana Kheer. This really looks tasty. Need to give it a try.
Love the pics! So tempting! Also love the easy, and different , recipe for the Kheer. Going to try your recipe out next time. Thanks for sharing and always happy to meet a fellow Krishna groupie 🙂
This recipe seems mouth watering hoping to try it out soon, thx for sharing
After my marriage, I have seen Janamashtmi celebrating in the way you described. It is all the way another festival here and my mother in law makes delicious prasad. Makhane ki kheer is one of my favourites and it can be consumed during fasts also.
This post made me do time travel and made me remember the festivities and feast times when I was a kid. Am remembering the mouth-watering dishes mom used to make. It was not a fast but a feast at our place too. I have never made makhane ki kheer at home, though have had it several times. Will try your recipe. I loved the way you have captured your pictures!
Janmashtami in Kanpur is a festival which tugs my heart still. The temples used to light up and there was a buzz all around the temples. Around the place where I lived, The temples used to have a tradition of putting up several ‘Jhaanki'(tableaus). Some used to organise competitions. The temples used to have many programs till late midnight. At midnight, amidst the lighting of firecrackers and the auspicious ringing of temple bells, Krishna’s birth used to be celebrated. Your post took me back in time. Thankyou 🙂
This looks just too delicious. Now, I have a craving for it.
nice recipe. would love to try it soon. thanks for sharing it
I love Kheer and the recipe along with the tid-bits of history is good to read.
Oh I love Makhana, but never had the kheer. I usually eat the Ghee roasted savory makhanas. Will surely try the sweet one that’s kheer now. Thanks for the recipe and the images are just amazing
Your narration was so lovely. I have known of the recipe but did not realize we need to grind a third of makhanas to add to kheer! I am so glad that you shared this recipe. The pictures were so tempting to look at. I also liked the look of your blog.
I tried your Makhane ki kheer recipe … it was so easy and quick to make. My daughter loved it to bits. And yes Janmashtami, as well as other festivals, have their own charm each one reviving the beautiful memories of our childhood and something to teach our children.
This is mouthwatering.. I will definitely try this one.
Lovely story to go along with a beautiful recipe! 🙂
I have eaten Makhana only as roasted one. Kheer is a new thing. Can definitely try it. We all used to love Krishna as kids for his mischieves and magics!!!
Hi Dipali, Beautiful post. And thank you for the recipe, I’ll surely try it. I have never tasted makhane ki kheer before, but I love it as snacks.
Yummm ! I am gonna try this once as I like makahanas.
Thanks for the share
The recipe looks easy. Would give it a shot
I have to tell you I read and re-read the post. It’s so beautifully written.I have never had foxnuts or makhane ki kheer but we celebrate Janmashtami at our home too. This was one of the best blogs I visited in the last two weeks. Incredible storytelling. I was looking for the Photography posts but couldny find them. I wasprobably not looking properly.
Best wishes Dipali in all that you do.
Such delicious memories both of the kheer and the childhood Janmashtami celebrations
This is new to me, since makhana is very good for bones and female health I’ll definitely gonna try this soon. #myfriendalexa #dewreads
This looks so good. I am definitely bookmarking the recipe and trying this.
Thank you for sharing this with me , would like to try this for my girl
The same tale was narrated by my granny and it was interesting for us as it made us believe that God is natkhat too. Loved your recipe n will try during Durga Puja fasting. Interesting post.
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